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Plodding Along
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I've been on this site for nearly ten years and actively building my car for the last three. During that time, there seems to have been an ever increasing level of quality in both the design and execution, perhaps based on the fact that each of us tend to build upon the ideas of those who came before us. From John O's various iterations (not the least of which was his recent completion of "the First FFR Slabside"), to the incorporation of MetalMorphous finishes, to flip noses, an increase in period correct mods, to some of the modern takes on the classic original. There just seems to be a wealth of high-level cars to follow here and at other sites, as well as showing up at car shows. I know that some of this has to do with these cars evolving from donor builds to non-donor, but there are truly some wonderful donor builds out there, so that can't explain it fully.

What are your thoughts and observations?
 

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I noticed the same thing with the coupes...bar is definitely getting higher.

Marc
 

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I think you're right. I bet if you look at the graduation threads from a few years ago compared to know you'd come to the same conclusion. I think a lot of credit goes to this site, the members and the suppliers.
 

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Agreed, I think FFR is doing a better job of reducing back-orders, improving design (mk4), and addressing quality issues that used to exist.
Without those issues to deal with, builders can spend more time (and money) on modifying their builds. :001_rolleyes:
 

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My own personal experience. Years ago I came across a kit car that was for sale. I looked at it and thought, what a piece of junk.

About two years ago I noticed the local tech school did a ffr car and auctioned it off. It looked very nice. So, I got on the internet, came across this site, saw some builds and ordered one. This aint the kit car I recall from years ago!

ernest
 

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I agree with you guys. I got my Coupe kit in 03 and the newer bodies have much better fit and finish on them. This site helped me with almost every step in my build and I made several changes and upgrades I would not have known about If I had not discovered this forum. I think credit also has to be extended to the forum vendors who keep developing new parts to improve the performane and apperance of these cars.
Kudos to all parties involved:
CB
 

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I do know that seeing what other guys have done, and how they have done it, certainly gave us the ideas and confidence that we could make similar modifications.

x2 that the talent on this forum and the quality of vendor parts and knowledge really does help 'raise the bar' for sure.
 

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Yep, getting better all the time. I think our cars are definitely something to be proud of.

I have a strict budget Im going semi donor build. It might not look as nice as some or have as much HP. but it will be mine and I can say I built it.
Don't sell yourself short. Take your time, and ask for help when you need it. Even on a strict budget, you'll get it looking very nice. As Michael Everson said on another thread, "I've said it before and will say it again.. The most enjoyable cars are the ones with the stock drivetrain. 225 horse, no drive ability issues, and a smooth shifting T5. 500 horse is a waste of time and money."

BTW, 4 month lead time, wow.
 

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As Michael Everson said on another thread, "I've said it before and will say it again.. The most enjoyable cars are the ones with the stock drivetrain. 225 horse, no drive ability issues, and a smooth shifting T5. 500 horse is a waste of time and money."

.
but they are fun :evil::evil::evil:
 

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mg2: Nothing wrong with a semi donor build, that's the concept that started FFR. You have got a fun car to drive and like you say you built it, that's what I'm most proud of when I talk to someone about my car. You can make all kinds of changes to your car over the years that's the great thing about the original FFR concept. I have seen FFRs at Auto-x events with a donor 302, stock mustang wheels that are satin black with exposed aluminum cockpits that are very fast. Pretty is as pretty does as the old saying goes.
CB
 

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There is some return on investment by making your car 'better', it's a definite in the Canadian market.

The 10k I put into the engine will boost my cars value on resale.

I hear what Everson says about 500 hp being a waste, but I'm not seeing car companies pick up on it, and I anxiously await a 225 hp affordable Lamborghini!
 

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I anxiously await a 225 hp affordable Lamborghini!
There are several Lambo kits available.:w00t:

Er, even if Lamborghini made 100 hp car it would not be affordable.
 

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"If y'all can't make the mercy 3 body fit y'all just has to hammer away at it"
Kitcarinc

Sadly all my money is tied up with factory five right now.
 

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There are some beautiful builds out there and I thank every contributor for posting the pictures which allow me to see what can be done.

I'm 10k over budget already, if I went 100k more my car would never be as nice as some I've seen on here. I simply don't have the skill.

To those of you on here that are magician's at making these cars perfect, thanks, and keep it up!

Vic
 

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I agree 100%. I think there are a number of factors

- FFR is building a better product for a starting point

- Many former modifications have been incorporated in the kit

- The complete kit and fact that with donors getting older, I think there is a shift to complete or higher end base with new parts

- A lot of modifications have matured. They have been done numerous times and are well documented. People see this and are confident to try it. For example, building a rear shelf does not seem as daunting a task now. There are plenty of examples.

So less time, energy, and money goes into general body work, hidden body mounts, rolled edges, etc. That money goes into upgrading parts, doing other modifications.
 

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My first car was finished in 1997 and it won plenty of awards. I judged at Knott's and the FFR Nationals for the next 6-7 years and by year three it would have just been glanced at. Russ Thompson's roadster was the first bar raiser, the first year I took the Grape Ape to Knott's I was so proud of my car. Until I saw the Radio Flyer. Talk about getting the rug pulled out from underneath you, that car was awesome. Olli Hempel's roadster had a restomod feel with a painted engine compartment with everything very smoothed, the paint job was incredible (he painted it himself) Sunset Orange with Black Ice stripes with ice pearl. Russ then built his coupe which was a magnitude better than the Radio Flyer. About the same time at the 2005 FFR Nats, Garage Freaks FFR blew everyone away and won Best in Show (search for pics). I'm just glad they were not both at the Nats as it would have been nearly impossible to pick one over the other. 5 years later at the Turkey Rod Run, GF didn't win any in the FFR awards.
The bar is a moving target and you really do have to go out of the box to make them better than the last generation.
 

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With a view of the car being a dynamic package, things have gotten a lot better, too.

The talk so far has been a bit vague, but centered on car show trophy winners. Paint, rolled edges, and underhood bling don't necessarily constitute "high level," just high eye candy appeal. And that market does have money to spend, which is where we do see a lot of activity.

On the other hand, the mechanical attributes of the car itself are improving, as the industry offers newer factory options to the builder/owner. Whether you agree or not, power steering, power brakes, balanced brakes with the correct bias, clutches, transmissions, shocks, spindles, spring rates, bump steer, and a lot of other issues are getting addressed. It's no longer "donor level and live with it."

Engines, too. The average guy can afford a stroker motor putting out 450 hp reliably. Use donor pulleys and valve covers, install normal hosing, and costs can be substantially trimmed. It may not have the bling factor of a show motor, but it can do the job. It's a matter of understanding the tradeoffs, which are usually biased toward factory parts. They have done an excellent job of providing year round performance under extreme conditions, something the distinctly limited race car parts are famously inadequate at doing. Think 150,000 mile longevity.

It's very much unfortunate the show cars don't get track time, tho, to proof the huge expense actually benefits a future owner. Much like a Rolex, those cars are built for status - the performance can be easily matched in commodity priced goods.

Which makes building a supercar for the average man attainable, a great deal of improvement, indeed.
 
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